SEWP IV Streamlines Buying Process with New Tools
SEWP gives users the tools for the job
An easy buying process got even easier in the SEWP IV program. During the past year, program officials updated and improved several online tools that speed the buying process and, at the same time, ensure that agency customers receive high-quality IT hardware and software at the lowest possible prices.
“SEWP IV has remained an attractive contract vehicle for agencies, because of the ease of the ordering process and its flexibility in adding products to the contractors’ line card,” said Ray Bjorklund, Vice President and Chief Knowledge Officer with market research and consulting firm Deltek.
Streamlined Ordering and Services
The SEWP IV program office is getting set to unveil its updated Quote Request Tool (QRT) in late summer, said Joanne Woytek, NASA SEWP IV program manager. As with the previous QRT, customers will be able to use the new tool to conduct market research and solicit quotes from contract holders for work to be performed. The planned enhancements will make these processes easier and clearer for both agency customers and contract holders. The new QRT, which will undergo live testing before its final rollout, will also make it easier for customers to modify and share information as they gather quotes and move forward with their acquisitions.
The SEWP IV program received a 93 percent customer satisfaction rating in a survey conducted by an outside consultant.
Woytek said many of the enhancements were recommended by SEWP IV customers who provided feedback while receiving training or by submitting enhancement requests to the customer service team. “The new format is simple and intuitive for users,” Woytek said.
Overall, the QRT process also ensures that agencies meet federal requirements for providing contractors a “fair opportunity” to compete, as well as comply with other federal laws and regulations. Also new is SEWP IV’s Quote Verification Tool, which came online during the past year. The tool simplifies the process by helping customers with product descriptions and pricing research.
“SEWP IV has remained an attractive contract vehicle for agencies, because of the ease of the ordering process and its flexibility in adding products to the contractors’ line card.” Ray Bjorklund, Vice President and Chief Knowledge Officer, Deltek.
Finally, a new Order Ticketing system now automatically tracks orders as soon as customers send them into SEWP. As a result, SEWP IV program officials can monitor orders, provide contract holders and customers with immediate updates on their status, and assist more effectively with questions or problems. The Order Ticketing system, which is a Software-as-a-Service tool that SEWP IV also uses for its help-desk ticketing, can also handle orders via fax as well as the Internet. “It takes nano seconds for an order to enter our system, and once we’ve got it, there’s no losing track of that order,” Woytek said.
Providing a Strategic View of IT Acquisition
The upgraded tools are all part of SEWP IV’s focus on customer service. The program provides agencies with constant support through its help desk (with automated tracking of issues), live Web chats, and reporting systems that enable agencies to track their orders throughout the lifecycle. SEWP IV program officials also assist with product research and pricing, and have designated representatives—called Contract Holder Relationship Managers (CHRMs)—who work directly with contractors to resolve any problems or issues that might arise at any stage in the acquisition process. The SEWP IV staff always aims to answer questions or respond to issues within one day. As a result of such services and initiatives, the SEWP IV program received a 93 percent customer satisfaction rating in a customer service survey conducted by an outside consultant.
In addition, the SEWP IV program recently established a Program-Level Outreach Team that works with agency technology leaders, such as Chief Information Officers, to help them plan and execute their IT strategies. “We want to use our knowledge, information, and insight about what’s going on with products and other issues to help agencies not just at the program level, but also with their strategic planning,” Woytek said.